Category Archives: DNA

Analyzing DNA: My First DNA Test (Part 2)

This is the second post in a series about my getting my DNA tested through 23andMe.  Read Part 1 here.

I got the first part of my DNA results earlier this week.  As soon as the email of “Your Results Are Ready” popped into my inbox, I started screaming with excitement!  I rushed over to 23andMe, logged in, and began exploring.

I decided to go through the menu on the left one-by-one.  I started with the health section. My overview showed a preview of each of the four subsections of health: Disease Risks, Carrier Status, Traits, and Drug Response.  I was surprised to learn that I have an elevated risk of four different diseases.  One of those diseases was lung cancer – which is interesting because no one that I know of has ever gotten lung cancer in my family.  But then again, since my mom was adopted by her biological aunt and I have no clue who the biological father is, perhaps the lung cancer risk is something I got from his side?  Hmm.  The good news is that my risk for coronary heart disease is decreased – by about 10% than the average risk.

Looking at the Carrier Status section, I was pleased to learn that I am not a carrier for all 47 diseases and disorders that they test for.  Whew!

The traits section was really cool.  Little things like my earwax type (wet – in case you were wondering) and my hair curl (curlier than usual) were things that I already knew.  One thing that really caught my eye was Smoking Behavior – the result was that if I was a smoker, I’d be more likely to smoke.  [On a side note, when I shared this particular result with my dad, he chuckled a bit and then, in his most serious tone, told me he’d kick my butt all the way to China if I ever touch a cigarette.]  Other cool listings in this section include things like Photic Sneeze Reflex (which I have a higher odds of having), Resistance for HIV/AIDS, Tooth Development, Odor Detection, and Asparagus Metabolite Detection (I have a higher odds of detecting).

Finally, I started to explore the drug response section.  This section shows various prescription drugs and the status of your sensitivity to those drugs.  For example, it shows that I have a reduced risk to responding to Hepatitis C treatment [note to self: don’t get Hepatitis C].  It also showed that I have a higher sensitivity to the blood thinner Warafin.  I also learned that I have a higher risk of heroin dependence. [Side note: When I shared that information with my dad, he started going off about how if I even *think* about using heroin, he’ll kick my butt much farther than China.]

When I went to explore the Relative Finder section, I was disappointed to find that those results were not yet ready but would be ready in about a week.  This was a huge disappointment because the email that indicated my results were ready did not mention that only half of my results were there.  As a genealogist, this was what I was looking forward to most.  I know that 23andMe isn’t a company that works exclusively with genealogists, but it should be a bit more clear in the email that only half of the results are in.

In the next post, I will discuss my Maternal Haplogroup (which is visible in this first batch of results) and what I find in the Relative Finder.  Stay tuned for Part 3!

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary 23andMe DNA test in exchange for a review of my experiences on my blog.  My opinions, however, are truthful and not swayed at all by the fact that the test was complimentary.]

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Analyzing DNA: My First DNA Test (Part 1)

Super excited!  I got my very first DNA test from 23andMe.  After years of wanting to do a DNA test and doing some research into the science behind DNA.  (I even had breakfast one morning with Steve Morse during Jamboree 2011!).

So what made me go with 23andMe?  I’ve been watching the company for a while and I’ve love the fact it also presents a health side to their results.  But what really cinched the whole thing for me?  The new beta features that will soon be released.  Plus, everyone at the booth at Jamboree was super welcoming and willing to answer questions.  And they had hilarious t-shirts… I like a company with great customer service and a sense of humor.

So I ordered a Personal Genome Service from 23andMe.  The kit is $299.  Surprisingly, I received my kit in the mail the next day.  I was so excited to get the package that I practically attacked the poor delivery guy and then proceeded to rip open the box.

Before I could provide a saliva sample, I had to avoid eating and drinking for 30 minutes.  Assembling the spit tube was easy but coming up with enough saliva was harder than I thought it would be – but I got it done.

Once the spitting was complete and everything was packed back up, I stuck it in my mailbox, impatiently waiting for the mailman to come pick it up.

In the meantime, I went to the 23andMe website to register my test.  It was super easy to  enter the barcode from the spit tube onto the website.  The whole user interface for 23andMe is really intuitive and easy to follow.  And there are tons of cool features to explore.

While a lot of the features are unavailable til my results come in (in about 2-3 weeks), I have taken advantage of the surveys that are offered.  The surveys provide information that could lead to a better understanding of how genetics influences health.  Thus far, I’ve taken 8 surveys (they are super addicting!).

So now… I wait for my results.  These 2-3 weeks are going to feel like they are taking forever because I’m just so excited for these results.  I keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue and that it takes time for all of this science stuff to happen – but I’m too excited to be patient!  Wonder what my results will say?

Have you ever gotten a DNA test?  Was it through 23andMe or another company? What new things did you learn?

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary 23andMe DNA test in exchange for a review of my experiences on my blog.  My opinions, however, are truthful and not swayed at all by the fact that the test was complimentary.]

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